So, as expected, the WWE added a few matches to the TLC card right before the event started, throwing a few of my predictions out of whack. I can’t be the only one that finds it a poor business decision to not have an entire card ready a week or so in advance of a pay-per-event, right? I get that the WWE gets most of their views on the WWE Network, so it doesn’t really matter, but it seems really backwards to me.
Anyway, TLC seems like it ended up being pretty divisive so let’s have a quick recap now…
We got an added match with this one, the battle to decide who will be the WWE’s breakout Mexican star…like it matters, as they’ll never push either of these guys further than the mid-card and I almost expect to see at least one of them gone by this time next year.
The main story here was the WWE teasing some dissention between Andrade and Zelina Vega, which is bad an idea as splitting Rusev and Lana up…so it’ll probably happen, especially as Andrade and Charlotte Flair are a real-life couple and you just know they want to run Andrade/Flair vs/ Miz/Maryse, or something similar, at one point.
The good news was that, by all accounts, they had a decent contest and Humberto came out on top but both of these guys could be doing more rather than constantly spinning their wheels.
Winner: Humberto Carrillo by pin fall.
This kicked off with a good, old fashioned brawl and continued as an exercise in organised anarchy, largely thanks to the tornado rules of the match. These guys threw everything at each other, while still getting in some decent, if not overwhelming, ladder spots. In the end, Big E basically killed Dash Wilder with a Big Ending off the ladder, which allowed Kofi Kingston to bash Scott Dawson with the belts to knock him off the ladder and unhook the titles for the win.
It’s a good job that this was a decent contest as this seems to be the road that Kofi and the New Day will be walking for the foreseeable future (at least until the WWE needs to toss someone into an Elimination Chamber match or championship tournament), which is disappointing but I guess it could be worse (for example, where is former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal these days?)
My prediction: The New Day to win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
Actual winner: The New Day by belt retrieval, retains championship.
Aleister tried for the Black Mass right of the bell, which was a smart move considering how it has a pretty good success rate, but things ended up becoming more equal as Murphy got his licks in, even stealing Aleister’s jacket to rile him up.
In the end, they didn’t get a lot of tie but did a lot in the time they had; the message seemed to be not to underestimate the smaller guys, or the obscure guys, as they have a lot of potential but I never doubted that. I just want to see them have some direction rather than just randomly popping up, fighting, and then disappearing until the next match or battle royal.
My prediction: Aleister Black to win.
Actual winner: Aleister Black by pin fall.
Surprising no one, the O.C. answered the challenge, and I really cannot help but think this should have been the O.C. “as the “best tag team in the world”) issuing an open challenge and then facing the Street Profits to kick start both teams vying for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
Instead, we got a meaningless contest between these two teams that ended in a lame double count out and saw Karl Anderson getting Powerbombed through a KFC-branded table because…sponsors! Money!
My prediction: The Viking Raiders to win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
Actual winner: No contest due to double count out, retains championship.
The WWE opted to book this as a brawl and, once again, paint Roman Reigns as a babyface who must overcome the numbers game; not only did he get jumped by some security flunkies at the start of the match, Dolph Ziggler and the Revival showed up to help Corbin cover Reigns in more dog food (because that went down so well last time).
Even worse, despite being a TLC match, this was more of a regular no holds barred or extreme rules match, with the heels favouring bashing Reigns into submission with steel chairs rather than throwing him off ladders and through tables.
But yeah, rather than dethroning Corbin and getting him off television for a while, the constant interference was too much, even for THE BIG DAWG~!! and Corbin was able to steal the win after hitting an End of Days onto a chair after Reigns had eaten a bunch of chair shots, a Zig-Zag, and a Shatter Machine.
My prediction: Roman Reigns to win.
Actual winner: Baron Corbin by pin fall.
God, you know it’s bad when that terrible, vomit-inducing Bobby Lashley/Rusev/Lana angle gets higher billing that one of the WWE’s World Championships!
Even worse, this was a really short match that saw Miz and Bray Wyatt throwing finishers and big spots at each other right from the start as though they were Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns Seth Rollins, which made for a very dull and uninspiring contest.
Thankfully, the WWE ditched the red lighting this time around, most likely because Wyatt wasn’t wrestling as the Fiend and the finish was pretty brutal (Miz took a Sister Abigail on the floor and then immediately ate another in the ring for the loss). After the match, as expected, Daniel Bryan showed up with short hair and a shorter beard and attacked Wyatt with the Running Knee, but Wyatt was able to magic himself out of their before Bryan could attack him with a comically-large mallet.
My prediction: Bray Wyatt to win and retain the Universal Championship thanks to Daniel Bryan.
Actual winner: Bray Wyatt by pin fall, without assistance, retains championship.
Lashley and Rusev opted to hit each other really hard and very often to make this more of a spectacle than it needed to be but all the weapon shots and hard hit sin the world can’t take away from the face that this storyline and feud is absolutely dreadful.
To make matters worse, Lana got involved right as Rusev looked to be building towards an emphatic finish, which led to Lashley Spearing Rusev onto a table…that didn’t break….and then smashing him through another table with a Suplex.
My prediction: Rusev to win.
Actual winner: Bobby Lashley by table smash.
So, rather than close on the crowd-pleasing return of Daniel Bryan, the WWE tossed the women out there to die in the main event as, by this point, the audience had largely checked out.
Instead, though, the women did everything they could to try and get the crowd back into things; Asuka even busted out a bull rope and poor old Kairi Sane ended up getting Powerbombed off the ring apron and through a table.
Despite that, though, Asuka was able to push Becky Lynch off of the ladder and grab the belts, so I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer to see the Four Horsewomen battling for all the belts.
My prediction: Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to win and capture the Women’s Tag Team Championships.
Actual winner: The Kabuki Warriors by belt retrieval, retains championship.
So some interesting results but, also, some odd choices; I’m still a little surprised that Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens didn’t make it on to the card but what were your thoughts and favourite matches/spots of the night? Sound off in the comments and stick around for the next Wrestling Recap column.